Barbara Walters recently criticized a Christmas card she received from the White House this year for featuring a seven-line scripture from the Bible.
The card, signed by the President and Mrs. Bush, was among a small stack of Christmas cards showcased by Walters on last Thursday's episode of ABC's "The View."
"Usually in the past when I have received a Christmas card, it's been 'Happy Holidays' and so on," said Walters.
But the veteran anchor expressed dismay that President Bush and the First Lady would send out a "religious Christmas card" with a direct Bible verse from the Old Testament printed inside:
"You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you."
After reading the scriptural message of the card, Walters asked in a critical tone, "Does this also go to agnostics, and atheists, and Muslims?"
"Don't you think it's a little interesting," continued Walters in her questioning, "that the president of all the people is sending out a religious Christmas card?"
The card, which was paid for by the Republican National Committee, closes: "May the joy of all creation fill your heart this blessed season 2007."
But Walters didn't have any qualms with a Christmas card she received from Elton John and his partner David Furnish that had angels on the cover.
Co-host Joy Behar pointed out to Walters that the Elton John card was "a religious card, too."
"But it doesn't say anything religious," countered Walters. "It says 'Season's Greetings.'"
Walters clarified her intention later in the show: "By the way, I don't want to put down the President of the United States and his wife. I think it's very nice that they sent me a Christmas card."
Although Walters couldn't recall receiving a "religious" Christmas card from the White House, past Christmas greetings sent by the President and Mrs. Bush have contained Biblical scripture.
Last year, the White House card featured a verse from Psalms 119:105, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."